GMO news related to the United States

18.04.2017

Oregon GMO liability bill survives Legislature’s deadline

A bill that would allow biotech patent holders to be sued for unwanted GMO presence in Oregon has survived a crucial deadline.

SALEM — Biotech patent holders would be legally responsible for losses caused by their genetically engineered crops in Oregon under a bill that’s survived a crucial legislative deadline.

House Bill 2739 would allow landowners to sue biotech patent holders for the unwanted presence of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, on their land.

The bill has now been referred to the House Rules Committee, which isn’t subject to an April 18 legislative deadline that recently killed other proposals.

The move could effectively allows HB 2739 to stay alive through the end of the 2017 legislative session, scheduled to end in late June.

07.04.2017

Genetically-engineered crop debate not over...yet

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The discussion over G.M.O.'s isn't over yet.

Senate Bill 1037 and House Bill 2739 deal with making all of Oregon a "seed sanctuary" and protecting farmers from cross-contamination.

If approved, 1037 would create around 4,000 square miles of G.M.O.-free land combined between Josephine and Jackson counties.

House bill 2739 needs more support by tomorrow to keep it alive.

"I hear farmers say 'you know, you're so fortunate you get to grow in an area where you feel safe from GMO crops and the threats of them,' then you think every farmer should have that right. To stop is really hard and especially when you have a neighboring county like Josephine," Elise Higley, with Our Family Farms, said.

07.04.2017

Researchers find glyphosate in pregnant women, worry about impact on infants

A team of scientists this week released early results of an ongoing study spotlighting concerns about the rising use of pesticides and reproductive risks to women and children. The researchers tested and tracked, over a period of two years, the presence of the common herbicide glyphosate in the urine of 69 expectant mothers in Indiana.

The team – led by Paul Winchester, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health System and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Ind. – found glyphosate residues in 90 percent of the women, and high levels of those residues appeared to correlate with shortened pregnancies and below-average birth weights adjusted for age. The findings alarmed the researchers because such babies are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and lower cognitive abilities. “Gestational age maximizes the size of your brain at birth, and any shortening is essentially a reduction of IQ points,” Winchester said in an interview with FERN’s Ag Insider. “It has not just health, but lifetime achievement implications.”

04.04.2017

Moms Exposed to Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes for Babies

Concerns about the world’s most widely used herbicide are taking a new twist as researchers unveil data that indicates pervasive use of Monsanto Co.’s weed killer could be linked to pregnancy problems.

Researchers looking at exposure to the herbicide known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup branded herbicides, said they tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. The research is still in preliminary stages and the sample size is small, but the team is scheduled to present their findings on Thursday at a conference put on by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) in Washington, D.C.

“This is a huge issue,” said Paul Winchester, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. He said this is the first U.S. study to demonstrate glyphosate is present in pregnant women. “Everyone should be concerned about this.”

03.04.2017

Farm consultant concerned over GMOs, use of glyphosate

OSHKOSH – Although supplies of milk and livestock are plentiful in the United States, are today's feed production methods resulting in a loss of nutrient density and breakdown of vitamin availability that's detrimental to dairy cows?

That something pertaining to that question “is going on” has occupied the attention of semi-retired agricultural nutrition consultant Dieter Harle for nearly two decades. One consequence of what he fears is happening served as the title for a presentation titled “Why do Swiss cheese makers report fewer or no holes?” in the seminar series on March 28 at the 2017 WPS Farm Show.

That title was derived from input that Harle indicated he has received on six occasions during the past three years from farmers and cheese makers on significant differences in the quality of milk for making cheese. Milk from certain farms is either preferred or not preferred, he said. In one instance, a cheese plant seeks the milk from a certain farm for its starter batch, he stated.

28.03.2017

Inside the Academic Journal That Corporations Love

A recent Monsanto lawsuit opens a scary window into the industry of junk science.

A recent lawsuit against Monsanto offers a clear and troubling view into industry strategies that warp research for corporate gain. In a lawsuit regarding the possible carcinogenicity of the pesticide Roundup, plaintiffs’ lawyers suing Monsanto charge the company with ghostwriting an academic study finding that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is not harmful. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer and is critical for successful cultivation of genetically modified crops such as corn and soybean, which are resistant to the pesticide.

28.03.2017

PR Company Faces More Than 100 Lawsuits for Promoting Monsanto’s Roundup

Osborn & Barr, an advertising firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, is facing more than 130 lawsuits over the link between its former client, Monsanto, and cases of cancer associated with Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, marketed as Roundup.

The lawsuits were filed last week in the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis against Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, naming Osborn & Barr as a co-defendant, for its role in promoting the glyphosate-based herbicide.

According to the filings, Monsanto’s Roundup is carcinogenic—a designation the company adamantly disputes–and connected to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which many of the plaintiffs were diagnosed with.

“While existing lawsuits focus on holding Monsanto liable for cancer allegedly linked to glyphosate, the inclusion of the advertising agency that helped market Roundup is a different approach in the legal battle,” St. Louis Today reports.

22.03.2017

Cargill Strengthens Non-GMO Traceability

At March's Natural Products Expo West trade show, Cargill (Minneapolis) announced major moves aimed to demonstrate the company’s growing commitment to non-GMO traceability. At the show, the firm announced 13 new Non-GMO Project Verified Ingredients. It also rolled out the branding of its KnownOrigins identity-preservation process.

Growing Commitment to Non-GMO

The company announced that these 13 ingredients have now been verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project: stevia sweeteners, dry corn (mill, grits, flour), glucose heirloom syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrin, maltodextrin, modified food starch, native starch, mid-oleic sunflower oil, Clear Valley high-oleic canola oil, soybean oil, chicory inulin, and erythritol (using corn feedstock).

“The significance of this is that this particular group of products getting verified are from high-risk crops,” said Lea Buerman, Cargill’s food safety, quality, and regulatory manager. “The majority of them are from corn or soy, and as you know in the U.S., the majority of corn and soy crops are GM.”

21.03.2017

Is it time to reassess current safety standards for glyphosate-based herbicides?

Abstract

Use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) increased ∼100-fold from 1974 to 2014. Additional increases are expected due to widespread emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds, increased application of GBHs, and preharvest uses of GBHs as desiccants. Current safety assessments rely heavily on studies conducted over 30 years ago. We have considered information on GBH use, exposures, mechanisms of action, toxicity and epidemiology. Human exposures to glyphosate are rising, and a number of in vitro and in vivo studies challenge the basis for the current safety assessment of glyphosate and GBHs. We conclude that current safety standards for GBHs are outdated and may fail to protect public health or the environment. To improve safety standards, the following are urgently needed: (1) human biomonitoring for glyphosate and its metabolites; (2) prioritisation of glyphosate and GBHs for hazard assessments, including toxicological studies that use state-of-the-art approaches; (3) epidemiological studies, especially of occupationally exposed agricultural workers, pregnant women and their children and (4) evaluations of GBHs in commercially used formulations, recognising that herbicide mixtures likely have effects that are not predicted by studying glyphosate alone.

20.03.2017

Seed: The Untold Story

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, these subtle flecks of life are the source of all existence. Like tiny time capsules, they contain the songs, sustenance, memories, and medicines of entire cultures. They feed us, clothe us, and provide the raw materials for our everyday lives. In a very real

sense, they are life itself.

Yet in our modern world, these precious gifts of nature are in grave danger. In less than a century of industrial agriculture, our once abundant seed diversity—painstakingly created by ancient farmers and gardeners over countless millennia—has been drastically winnowed down to a handful of mass-produced varieties. Under the spell of industrial “progress” and a lust for profit, our quaint family farmsteads have given way to mechanized agribusinesses sowing genetically identical crops on a monstrous scale. Recent news headlines suggest that Irish history may already be repeating in our globalized food system. Articles in the New York Times and other mainstream sources report the impending collapse of the world’s supplies of bananas, oranges, coffee and coconuts—all due to a shortsighted over-reliance on a single, fragile variety. Without seed diversity, crop diseases rise and empires fall.